University of Wisconsin–Madison

Episode 2 Outline

Connect, Learn and Grow Series – Episode 2: Mindfulness Practices for Exploring and Nourishing our Connections during Isolation

Overview and Learning Objectives

  1. Defining connection and becoming more aware of what we’re connected to
  2. Getting in touch with our feelings that arise from various connections
  3. Exploring the qualities of our connections
  4. Discovering the connections that are nourishing and how to nurture those connections
  5. Learn some basic mindfulness practices for connecting with ourselves and others
  6. End with a guided meditation
  7. There are many questions for you to explore and I hope this facilitates your exploration and you finding out what works.

What is connection?

  1. Relationship to x,y,z
  2. Linking (i.e. and)
    1. What are you connecting to right now, in isolation?
  3. Nourishing and unwholesome connections

Things we’re connected to:

  1. Connections in/out isolation
    1. People, places, animals, things
    2. Things we consume (edible, sense, mental)
    3. Phone, computer, email, media
    4. Ideas, thoughts, memories
    5. Work and work colleagues
      1. What we do and how we do things is because of all the people who’ve touched us. Our ideas and thoughts are all pieces of things we’ve learned from others, we’re intimately connected (important to connect to nourishing things)

The outside is always inside, but how can we touch and feel this connection/togetherness/non-separateness?

Feeling Connected

  1. Noticing, what are we connecting with?
    1. Sense of refreshment, ease, well-being, or not?
    2. What feeling(s) arise with a certain connection?
    3. Where are these things? Where can I feel them?
    4. Nothing is right or wrong, good or bad, the point is just to be aware

Quality of Connection

  1. A lot can depend on the quality of a connection! WiFi, radio, etc.
  2. Is it just background noise or what you’re totally connected to?
  3. Why are we connecting?
    1. Are we connecting with something in order to avoid something else? (distraction from what is – tuning out)
    2. Are we wanting a specific experience/outcome and trying to force our way? (grasping for something we want)
    3. Are we looking for some good news or hope to fill us up to make something better? (grasping for something we want)
    4. Forcing connection?
  4. What can I do to be totally present right now (even in difficulty)?

Nourishing Connections

  1. “I just need to disconnect” (to re-connect!)
  2. Love – we must love ourselves before we can love others
    1. Depth of love / depth of connection (varies greatly)
  3. Being truly present – an act of self-care, self-love and deep connection
  4. We are not turning away from or escaping, but holding space for the possibility of the wholeness of the moment (all of it, bad and good)
    1. We allow for the validity of all feelings
    2. Give space for healing and nourishing
  5. Connecting in nourishing/meaningful ways is a practice
    1. First step is becoming aware of our habits of connection – where we’re connecting and what to, then choose

Practices – Connecting with ourselves and others:

  • Waking up (connecting with our day)
  • Bathing/washing our hands (water)
  • Eating/drinking
  • Walking
  • Body
  • Breath


Elemental Meditation –

  1. Air
  2. Water
  3. Earth
  4. Fire
  5. Thoughts
  6. Aware that I’m composed of innumerable things, I release to be held by them all
    1. This body, these thoughts are not mine, so if they are not mine, who/what am I? – Everything else, connected to all